Posted by: Dallas Lawrence | November 7, 2010

As the leaves go red, so does the wine – goodbye summer whites and hello fall reds!

As most anyone who knows we will attest, I love red wine.  And while I can enjoy a glass of red with just about any food pairing, there is something about a nice, crisp, cold glass of white during the summer season. This is especially true when slogging through DC’s scorching and humid summer months. Needless to say, during the past few months The Cork Scrooge has lacked the requisite inspiration needed to crack open and review the best (and worst) bargain reds available on the market. This past week as DC broke freezing for the first time this year, I cranked up the heater, tossed aside the cold white’s of the summer and bolted for a few big bold reds. The cellar is full, the spirit is willing and the weather is now cooperating so off we go…

To kick off the new season of reviews, I thought I would put my new local wine store to the test. I think the best indicator of a wine merchant is whether or not you can walk right in and say to just about anyone “I would like to try a variety of really nice red wines from all over the world for less than $15” and have the nearest employee leap at the challenge and begin filling your cart with bottle after bottle as he ticks through what makes each worthy of your time.

The folks at Arrowine were up to the challenge and the first bottle they slid into my cart was the 2009 Finca Sophenia Reserve Malbec from the Mendoza region of Argentina.  

Finca Sophenia’s grapes are harvested by hand in mid-spring from the foothills of the Andes and are aged in French Oak for 10 months.  Right from the bottle the intensely rich red color gives an initial hint of the deep plum and spice flavors to follow. As I poured the first glass the familiar spicy kick you want and expect from a legit Mendoza Malbec immediately fills the palate.  Priced at about $12, the Finca Sophenia opens up nicely, and as I finished my first glass and went to pour a second 10 minutes later and entirely smoother, plum flavored South American experience awaited.

The 2009 Finca Sopehnia Malbec is perfect for an evening sitting by the fire, pairing with a simple meal or just taking to your next dinner party. Enjoy!

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